Sublette County, WY — Pinedale, Cora, Boulder, Daniel, Big Piney — is the biggest wolf death black hole in the West.
This formerly scenic area in the upper Green River, now with polluted air and and wide open spaces ripped up by the natural gas drillers, has seen the death of 14 wolves this year. There are with more to come — to be shot by the federal government as were those dead already.
All this has been in response to the scattered deaths of calves by wolves trying to migrate south and set up territories. The wolves pick off 1-4 cow calves here the there. To read the news stories, you are often left to believe that these were full grown cattle. In fact wolves only occasionally take adult cattle because 1. wolves are imprinted to see deer and elk as prey, but not cattle. 2. Cattle don’t act prey. They often just look up and give the canines that bored bovine stare (unlike elk and deer who know what is up). 3. Calves, on the other hand, are more likely to run (an indication to wolves that they are prey animals).
One should always note that these livestock losses are compensated by the group, Defenders of Wildlife, which wants to promote acceptance of the wolf. Possible losses also get half compensation. Livestock producers also get paid fall value for spring and summer calves. In Idaho, the state government on top of this, compensates for livestock that are missing.
Reporter for the Casper Star Tribune, Cat Urbigkit, is no friend of wolves — in the livestock business herself– but her story is basically accurate. I don’t like the tone. That’s why I have a blog. For her story “Wolves kill dozens of Sublette cattle,” click here